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May 18, 2014


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"Gauger makes a good case that the plaintiffs are public figures."

Yeah, by mentioning they have a website and a facebook page but failing to acknowledge that they are a formal political action committee, registered with the state.

Also, he cite the plaintiff's selected quotes of Martin's blog without any context.


Billy Jones

Jeff Martin admitted in News & Record interviews during the Johnson v Martin case that he blogs with intentions of making people angry as a hobby. It's apparent his intentions are to hurt. If lawyers for C4GC should choose to follow that line, Jeff Martin is toast and no amount of freedom of speech will save him. I'll not be surprised if more plaintiffs start signing on to the suit.

Best he can hope for is a settlement that bans him from blogging and social media for the rest of his life.

He made his bed, let him lie in it.


IMO, the bottom line of the suit is Freedom of Speech that hurts one's feelings should be outlawed.

That places the interpretation of speech into the emotional realm. Instead of sucking it up and taking it with a thick skin just whine and complain about it to get it stopped.

C4GC invoking the nanny-state is the height of hypocrisy.




Billy Jones, where is it in the any constitution or law that it is illegal, criminally or civilly, to make people angry? If this were true, I think every Tea Bagger should be swept away into a blackhole, never to appear again, never to be remembered again. Fecund Stench, indeed.

Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Yeah, that is exactly a counterexample.

Bob Grenier

"C4GC invoking the nanny-state is the height of hypocrisy."

You're purposely not paying attention, are you?

Billy Jones, where is it in the any constitution or law that it is illegal, criminally or civilly, to make people angry?

Defamation or otherwise writing with the intent to harm others. Not only do these things tend to anger others, such practices are not legal.

Of course, Jeff, in an effort to reach out to those he defamed, shut down his own site.

Are you truly arguing that in doing so he infringed on his own freedom of speech?

And why is it that Americans anger Democrats?

Ed Cone

People put limits on their own speech all the time. They usually call it "good manners" or "having a filter." I'm doing it right now!

The question at hand is what limits the government can enforce.

The question at hand is what limits the government can enforce.

I would venture a guess that those same protections that have been extended to minorities could rightfully be extended to other individuals suffering from abusive and defamatory commentary.

And in light of the hateful climate directed toward Americans as exemplified by FEC and and institutionalized within government bureaucracies like the IRS, perhaps a kind of reverse discrimination that grants preferential treatment to TeaParty groups would be appropriate.


Alternatively we could follow the unAmerican lead of Democrat leader Harry Reid and limit political speech altogether via a constitutional amendment.

Would this have an impact on FEC? Unlikely. But then when FEC pulled down his site he rendered a 1st Amendment discussion, at least in regard to his circumstances, mute. No?

Defamation or otherwise writing with the intent to harm others.

It's freaking satire. Which most certainly is protected speech.

And if that were excruciatingly true that this matter gets to that point, then you should be able to stop any and all negative campaigning. Funny how that works out.

And why is it that Americans anger Democrats?

Why is it that Republicans don't consider Democrats Americans?

I'm doing it right now!

I normally do a much better job of doing that, but it's been a rough week for me.

It's freaking satire.

I suppose Jeff wishes it were. It was not.

As to whether Democrats are American. My answer is, no.

=Do Democrats support the American virtue of assembly and speech? Not when individuals assemble as a corporation.

=Do Democrats support the American virtue of individual religious freedom? Not if that individual is employed by government.

=Are Democrats actively attempting to control political speech via an unAmerican constitutional amendment? Harry Reid is.

=Do Democrats support the American virtue of the 2nd amendment? No.

=Do Democrats support the American virtue of property rights? Not if the EPA wants it.

=Do Democrats respect the American virtue as represented by our flag? No.

=Do Democrats respect the American virtue of choice and not engage in economic activity? The ACA says no.

=Do Democrats respect American virtue? Democrats are so removed from American virtue that if asked they will reply 'What is American virtue?'. They don't know.

Sadly none of this is satire...

Andrew Brod

Ignore the troll.


I wish I were, Doc...

Billy Jones

The problem for Jeff Martin was the context in which he wrote. Had Jeff been writing strictly posts in opposition to the actions of C4GC and got nasty so to speak, he would no doubt be covered under his rights to free speech. That is what we commonly call political free speech.

But Jeff Martin didn't stop there, not by a long shot.

Jeff Martin created what some believe to be a long running work of fiction and satire using real people and caricatures of real people as the subjects of his works. Often his work of fiction seemed to have no connection to ongoing political issues involving C4GC and/or its members. And he painted his characters in a very dark, twisted and forbidding manner. That is not and has never been considered political free speech.

Now remember: this was completely independent of Jeff's political writings. And while many, if not most would recognize the entire body of work as fiction and satire, individual posts taken on their own could be construed by readers not accustomed to Mr Martin's writings as being non fiction.

And there-in is the short rope Jeff Martin has tied around his own neck. Lawsuits based on works of fiction based on real people have at times stood up in court before. Don't be surprised if this one does as well.

Andrew Brod

"That is not and has never been considered political free speech."

Not so. Satire, especially political satire involving public figures, is generally seen as protected speech under the First Amendment, and I've yet to see an attorney chime in here to say otherwise. But I guess we'll never know for sure now that Martin's settled.

Andrew Brod

I suppose it's more accurate to say that political satire has been seen as protected speech since the 1988 SCOTUS decision in the Falwell/Hustler case.

As to whether Democrats are American. My answer is, no.

Yeah, you're a nit wit alright. NitWitTroller.

Good bye.

Yeah, you're a nit wit alright. NitWitTroller.

Isn't that the sort of thing that Jeff Martin parleyed into a dead blog?

Oh, bytehead, what am I thinking. Yours is another example of satire ... biting, no burning, satire...

Billy Jones

Andrew, the link you cite hinges on this, "... because the Court found that reasonable people would not have interpreted the parody to contain factual claims..."

But much of what Mr Martin wrote about the plaintiffs could have been believed to be factual by reasonable people who were not regular readers of Mr Martin's works and not familiar with his entire body of work-- especially his entire series devoted to the Riddleburgers and C4GC. Especially if they were to read only selected posts.

Should the attorneys for the plaintiff peruse that line Jeff Martin will have hell to pay.

Has Martin really settled? I've read that he has tried to settle. The points I'm making would certainly be reason enough for his attorney to recommend he settle.

Andrew Brod

It's hard to talk about a reasonable person's reaction to blog posts that have been disappeared. My guess is that if the offending passages of the Complaint were put in context, it'd be clear that they were either parody (e.g. Bubba celebrating the anniversary of the MLK "I have a dream" speech) or hyperbole (e.g. C4GC funded "by wads of bills still damp from the garters of strippers"), neither of which would be taken as statements of fact by a reasonable person. But we may never know.

Or maybe we will. I guess you're right that we haven't had the final word on whether he's settled. All indications were pointing that way, at least at one point. IMO, he'd have a strong case, but he has to have the fire in the belly to choose litigation.

Billy Jones

Andrew wrote: "...but he has to have the fire in the belly to choose litigation."

2 points: 1. you apparently don't know Jeff Martin very well. He has little if any fire and will back down in an instant. He's already admitted as much when writing he would have taken down the offending post if asked. As a matter of fact: Jeff has a history of taking down many posts. No fire there.

And 2. Jeff Martin is named as the defendant, the choice of litigation is not up to Mr Martin or his attorney. The plaintiffs will make that call.

For a bright, college educated boy with multiple degrees you sure do say some interesting things.

And again, why do you think me angry?

Andrew Brod

Yes, obviously defendants don't initiate litigation. But as you just noted, they can choose to let it continue or not.

Bob Grenier

"But as you just noted, they can choose to let it continue or not."


The plaintiffs can't reject the proposed settlement Martin's attorney proposes?

Andrew Brod

By all means, let's get into the weeds of judicial semantics. That would be great fun.

Billy Jones

Andrew, by all means, please explain to us how the defendant has the final say as to whether or not litigation goes forward.

Billy Jones

Andrew appears to have a problem answering questions. Wonder why that is?


Heh,he said,


Ed Cone

Brod's meaning is clear -- Fec, upon being sued, chose to settle instead fight.

Dumbest argument on the internet today is now over. Move on.

Billy Jones

Ed, Has Jeff Martin indeed chose to settle? I ask because the last thing Mr Martin posted about the suit indicated that he has not yet made a decision and was in-fact facing an impossible settlement that he couldn't possibly accept: http://carolinaundersiege.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/the-settlement-agreement/

Has Mr Martin made facts known to you that he hasn't made known to the rest of us? Is there another settlement agreement both parties have agreed to? Or are you simply spreading unknown rumors as you are so apt to do? If yes to any of the previous then you can surely understand the confusion.

I find it strange how you constantly hold Brod's hand. For example, he has also accused me on your blog threads of being angry. I ask him why he believes I am angry and he avoids the question.

Now I ask him yet another question and you rush to his defense. Is the professor not capable of speaking for himself? He seems quite capable of calling people trolls, hurling insults and spouting off opinion without citing info to back up his arguments but when it comes to answering simple questions you seem to feel the need to step in for Andrew Brod. Why?

Dumbest argument on the Internet? Or just another argument you're afraid to see played out for fear of embarrassing your friends?

Ian McDowell

Fwiw, I thought Brod's meaning perfectly clear, that Fec has chosen to settle. I don't see any "but maybe he hasn't chosen to do that after all" objections being brought up in answer to the entry where Ed expressed regret that Fec had settled, so it seems odd to make that objection now.

Having said that, Fec has made some contradictory statements and clarification of his intent would be nice, although I'm sure we'll all know soon enough.

Ed Cone

Last I heard a settlement was in the works.

I remain confused by some of the terms I understood to be under discussion, as I mentioned in an earlier post.


You might very well think that, but of course, I couldn't possibly comment.

Ed Cone

Which implies that a settlement has been reached or is in negotiations.


I should think the former more likely.


Fec's problem is that he just couldn't help himself when mixing his style with the facts. A more straightforward rendering of the facts instead of the mythical stories and unsubstantiated claims of involvement in criminal activities that he built around them would have strengthened his hand.

Regardless, I don't see what the Plaintiff's had to gain by bringing Fec's relatively unknown blog to the forefront and exposing those matters that are factual.

If he is hamstrung here, he did it to himself.

Billy Jones

Billy Jones is proven right again and still Brod cannot speak for himself. Interesting. Why am I angry?

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